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“Amazing place, fantastic horseback riding and great stay!”

Desierto de la Tatacoa
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Full-Day Tour to the Tatacoa Desert from Bogota
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Amazing place, fantastic horseback riding and great stay!”
Reviewed December 25, 2013

The desert is such a different and impressive landscape that it is absolutely worth a visit! And both parts are just amazing!!! The red desert and the grey desert!! It is possible to do it all in one day!

Its is hard to get there but my husband and I would do it again definitely! Some tips for those who are planning to come!

- The closest big city is Neiva. We arranged a jeep from there, which took us directly to our hostel in the desert. We paid COP 15000 each person! After a long drive to get in Neiva we preferred to go directly to the hostel!

- The hostel we stayed is El Despertar del Cabrito and we recommend it! There are dorms and some private rooms with private bathroom. They are basic but very clean and well maintained! There is electricity but no hot water, what is not a problem, since it is hot! We paid COP 40000 for the private room. They have good food and if you ask them for different options they are really keen to help you. There are breakfast, lunch and dinner and the prices are reasonable. COP 5000 for breakfast and around COP 8000 for the meals.

- The hostel is really close to the red desert and to the observatory and you can do it walking from there. We did a nice walk in the labyrinth of the red desert for about 2 hours. The grey desert is far away and we did a fantastic horseback riding with the horses from the hostel. If you like to run, the horses a just perfect for you!!!! They really like to run and we really enjoyed it!!! The saddles are not really comfortable but even though we loved the ride!!! The best we did in 6 months traveling!!! The landscape in unbelievable!!!!!! If you don't like horses you can use moto taxis to visit the grey desert. It is incredible!!!!!

Visited December 2013
7 Thank Gabriela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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441 reviews from our community

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English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Amazing horseback ride, amazing landscape and nice place to stay!”
Reviewed December 25, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in the desert. I think this is the minimum to see everything in a slow pace.

We couldn't see anything acuse was very cloudy!

The hostel: El Despertar del Cabrito
Nice room, clean and with private bathroom. Better than we were expecting! The food is ok. Nothing special (around US$ 4/meal). Breakfast is not that good... could be better!
The owner are nice and if you complain about something they will try to fix it!!!!

Horseback Ride: we used the hostel service
The horses are quite small and in the beginning we were not so happy. The saddles are not comfortable. But the ride is amazing!!! We could decide when to run or the horses are really good on that!!! The landscape is amazing!!!!

The deserts
Both are beautiful! We liked more the grey one, but the red one is also beautiful! Both are tiny but really worthy!

Visited December 2013
3 Thank Di_Ferro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yanceyville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“There were plants and birds and rocks and things. There was sand and hills and rings.”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Dig it. I stayed at Noches de Saturno which is just inside the entrance of Cusco (about a 15 minute drive from Villavieja) - just down the road from the observatory. It was 25,000 COP (about $13 US) for my own room (I believe it is 25k per person when more than one) with two beds and a bathroom. The staff were very friendly. Pedro, a member of the staff, provided tours into the desert for roughly 15,000 COP (less than $10 us) a day. They also provided three meals a day for around 7-10k a pop. You can pet the goats and/or...eat some of one if you want. I did. There are lots of animals to befriend: chickens, ducks, roosters, parrots, goats, and turkeys. They have a little pool to chill out in when it gets hot. I found the desert itself to be a blast to walk through with and without a guide. The observatory has a presentation every night, but both nights I was there were overcast... no show. Villavieja wasn't much more than a bump in the road. I rode a motorcycle down so I cannot speak on transportation issues other than to say that you can turn right after the toll booth well after Natagaima when heading south and take your moto across the Magdalena in a wee boat to avoid riding all the way down to Neiva and then backtracking to Villavieja. I was told you can also do this in Aipe which is just across the river from Villavieja. I'd say there were roughly 10 or so other places to stay spread over the desert near Cusco. And, apparently, you could just plant a tent right smack dab in the middle of the desert if you wanted to. La, la, la-la-la-la-la, la, la, la, laaaa, la.

Visited October 2013
4 Thank El_Stevo_Van
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fab place”
Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in la tranquilidad too &was worried incase i couldnt find it as i made no reservation&couldnt find it on website but seemed good place to stay from what was said on tripadvisor. Itvis about the 3rd place from the observatory&there is only one way so xant get lost. Like previous post, the owners &accommadation&food very great. I travelled from bogota after lunch to neiva &arrived around 8pm &was told there were no buses to villavieja until the morning so i had to book into nearest hotel to terminal which cost $30000pesos for private room. The next morning i took bus (collectivo) for $6000&met french couple who had arranged with driver to do tour for 3hours around desert for $60000 so i asked if i could join them &we pay $20000 each &driver agreed. The trip around the desert was absolutely gorgous&the driver dropped me off in la tranquilidad&they had lunch with me before they went back to villavieja. I seemed to be the only tourist staying the night at the desert, the rest were just tour buses passing through. I went to see observatory on arrival &staff were lovely&photos were too. I returned that night & there was no demonstration cause it had rained &there were no stars, i was so dissappointed but overall i really enjoyed here&felt very safe. The next morning i asked if there was a bus back to villavieja &i was told i could get motortaxi for $25000 i asked thats too much as its only about 10min drive &i paid that for 5hour journey from bogota so they said ok $15000 & i still said no. I then asked how long does it take to walk, they said 1hr &then asked me for $10000 for the motor ride so i agreed. It annoys me that these things can be so expensive for tourist &so cheap for locals, at times i feel like i am seen as a cash machine &nothing else at times. Overall well worth a visit though

Visited September 2013
1 Thank dianedod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful southern Colombia desert”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We stayed at La Tranquilidad, which offers cabins, hammocks, camping, camping gear rental if you don't have your own, and great food and hosts! Paid 15000 per person for cabin. Veggie meals were 6000 and with meat were 10000. There were other places to stay but we were extremely happy wi our choice at La Tranquilidad.

Walked to Villavieja and back one day for some supplies, about an hour walk to and an hour back. Wouldn't recommend the walk with big packs though, especially during heat of the day. Was surprised by weather. Sunny, yet overcast and very breezy at the same time. Gorgeous weather.

Stayed four nights. So much to explore in the desert, and with the change of scenery from gray sands to vibrant red rocks, the landscape is unforgettable.

Would return to this beautiful oasis.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank shellerton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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